Slovakia imposes partial curfew

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Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic said Thursday the EU member would impose a partial curfew to battle a huge uptick in coronavirus cases.

"From this Saturday, there will be a curfew," Matovic told reporters, explaining that freedom of movement will be limited to between 1:00 and 5:00 am.

During the rest of the day, Slovaks will only be permitted to leave the house for medical visits, errands, work, grocery-shopping, walks in nature or with pets and a few other exceptions.

But no-one will be required to show a document to prove why they are out and about, Interior Minister Roman Mikulec said.

In several high-risk districts, residents will need a negative test to leave the house during the day.

The curfew will apply until November 1 but may be extended.

The country of 5.4 million people has reported more than 35,000 confirmed infections, including 1,728 new cases on Thursday.

"The situation in Slovakia is serious. We don't have it under control," Health Minister Marek Krajci told reporters.

Earlier this week, Matovic announced free testing for the whole country, adding that it will most likely be on a voluntary basis.

A pilot run will begin on Friday in certain areas, while the main testing will take place in late October and early November.

The government declared a state of emergency earlier this month and later closed pools and gyms, banned mass events and required to switch to remote learning.

© 2020 AFP

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